Will Obama Go Fascist on the Debt Ceiling?

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Barack Obama has sometimes been fond of branding his Republican foes “hostage-takers,” but officials in his administration have found a new hostage in their negotiations over raising the debt ceiling: the U.S. Constitution. The president’s advisers and several “unbiased” media outlets are suggesting if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, Barack Obama can force the nation to continue borrowing money. The Founding Fathers required all expenditures originate in the House of Representatives, but Obama officials are wrapping his actions in the 14th Amendment. For the first time in living memory, the president is threatening to commit an impeachable offense if he does not get his way.

CBS News has reported the debt ceiling impasse leaves “the option of a congressional end-run by President Obama a possibility.” Reporter Whit Johnson said, “The stalemate in Washington has some asking if President Obama could simply bypass Congress and order the Treasury to keep borrowing.” Obama or his spokesman Jay Carney has been asked twice about the possibility and, despite an incredibly misleading headline from the Associated Press, neither rejected the possibility. (Carney merely said, “I don’t think that I want to get into speculation about what might happen if something does or doesn’t happen”; Obama replied, “I don’t think we should even get to the constitutional issue.”) MSNBC’s Powerwall dared the president to carry it out, claiming it would be smart politically.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has never shown much regard for financial laws, claims the president has this power under the Fourteenth Amendment. The fourth clause states:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

Geither made his comments at….

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Leftist Reporter Predicts Impeachment Drive Success

Writing in The New Republic, leftist reporter/editor/blogger Jonathan Chait predicts our success.

Hear me now and believe me later: If Republicans win and maintain control of the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach President Obama. They won’t do it right away. And they won’t succeed in removing Obama. (You need 67 Senate votes.) But if Obama wins a second term, the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.

Wait, you say. What will they impeach him over? You can always find something. Mini-scandals break out regularly in Washington. Last spring, the political press erupted in a frenzy over the news that the White House had floated a potential job to prospective Senate candidate Joe Sestak. On a scale of one to 100, with one representing presidential jaywalking and 100 representing Watergate, the Sestak job offer probably rated about a 1.5. Yet it was enough that GOP Representative Darrell Issa called the incident an impeachable offense.

It is safe to say that Issa’s threshold of what constitutes an impeachable offense is not terribly high. As it happens, should Republicans win control of the House, Issa would bring his hair-trigger finger to the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Sestak pseudo-scandal disappeared because there was no process to drive the story forward. Had Issa been running the Oversight Committee, it would have been the subject of hearings and subpoenas.

Read for yourself: